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Holocaust Collection Speeches

Rev. John E. Brooks, S. J. - Dedication Welcome - May 11, 1979

b-square.gif - 0.8 KYour Excellencies, Bishop Flanagan and Bishop Harrington, distinguished members of the academic community, and friends: It is my extraordinary privilege and pleasure this afternoon to welcome so many of our friends and guests to the College of the Holy Cross. In particular I extend a warm word of welcome and profound thanks to:

b-square.gif - 0.8 KToday marks a very special moment in the 136-year history of this Jesuit College, for, in response to the Jesuit vocation which earnestly bids us to labor unstintingly for the promotion of justice, we take this occasion to join other Christians and Jews in truly making our own the words inscribed on the international memorial sculpture at Dachau - " Never Again."

b-square.gif - 0.8 KAnd we do this by proclaiming to our entire constituency - to our students, faculty, administrators, alumni, benefactors and friends - that the Holocaust is a turning point for mankind, an event so cataclysmic that it sears human history into two sharply demarcated ages, and that it is something that happened to Christians as well as to Jews. As the church historian Franklin Littell has reminded us, the Holocaust " remains a major event in recent church history - signalizing...(that) Christianity itself has been 'put to the question.' "

b-square.gif - 0.8 KIn dedicating the Joshua and Leah Hiatt Wings in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the college of the Holy Cross acknowledges the centrality of the Holocaust in modern religious experience, and strives to teach that the Holocaust was not an abstract injustice that defiled, tortured and killed six million Jews. The origins of injustice are in the minds and hearts of men and women, and justice will come into the world only when the unjust persons change their ways and are moved to love of neighbor.

b-square.gif - 0.8 KIn this spirit, I conclude my remarks by reading a telegram received from Vatican City on the occasion of today's dedication. Addressed to Father John E. Brooks, S.J., College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, the telegram reads:

" On the occasion of the dedication of the Hiatt Wings in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, I happily send congratulations and good wishes. Studies related to the ordeals and sufferings of Jewish people will help bring Christians and Jews more closely together for the mutual service to and promotion of human rights among all human beings."

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